We live between fences. We may hardly notice them, but they are dominant features in our lives and in our history. Built of hedge, concrete, wood and metal, the fence skirts our properties and is central to the American landscape. We use them to enclose our houses and neighborhoods. They are decorative structures that are as much part of the landscape as trees and flowers. Industry and agriculture without fences would be difficult to imagine. Private ownership of land would be an abstract concept. But fences are more than functional objects. They are powerful symbols. The way we define ourselves as individuals and as a nation becomes concrete in how we build fences. Through an examination of boundaries, place, and space, the Between Fences exhibit will explore how neighbors and nations divide, protect, offend, and defend through the boundaries they build.
Dr. Nora Pat Small, Associate Professor at Eastern Illinois University , will present a discussion of Illinois fences in the late morning and a guided walking tour of Oakland homes and fences will be held in the late afternoon.
For more information, please contact Traci Montgomery at (217) 543-3951.